New Zealand Labour Party

Housing under National: the facts

1.       House prices in Auckland

  • Council valuations indicate Auckland house prices have gone up by one-third over the last three years. (Auckland Council)
  • The average Auckland house price has gone up by nearly $225,000 since 2008, up over $75,000 in the past 12 months. (QV)
  • It now takes 50 years to pay off the average house in Auckland. (NZIER)

2.       The residential rebuild in Canterbury

  • Only 2,000 houses have been rebuilt in Christchurch when the earthquakes destroyed 11,000 and CERA says 31,000 more are needed in the Canterbury region by 2021. (Christchurch City Council)
  • Rents are up nearly 45% and house prices up nearly 30% since the first earthquake. (MBIE & QV)
  • MBIE estimates there are up to 7400 people homeless in Canterbury.
  • Only 62 of the 700 new state houses Nick Smith promised have been built.

 3.      The regions have been affected by LVR 20% minimum deposits and rising mortgage interest rates

  • 100% of house price inflation is happening in Auckland and Canterbury but LVRs have driven out first home buyers in the regions, and homeowners have been hit by rising interest rates. (REINZ)
  • House prices in the regions are either flat lining or falling. Since 2008 house values in real terms have fallen 19% in Southland, 26% in Far North, and 37% in Kawerau. (QV)

 4.       The Auckland Housing Accord

  • Not a single new house has been built in the Special Housing Areas that anyone is living in, 15 months after the Accord was announced.
  • Nowhere does the Housing Accord actually ensure that additional new dwellings will be built.  It merely accelerates the supply of new dwellings that developers were already going to build anyway.
  • Four developers recently pulled out of the Special Housing Areas, and one commentator says some developers signed up purely to get capital gain and had no intention of building. (Manukau Courier)
  • The accord is running behind target. In the first six months only 3,416 dwellings were consented when the Minister promised to build 9,000 in the first year and Auckland needs 13,000 a year to meet demand and make up for the recent shortfall in building. (MBIE)

 5.       Property speculation is driving prices higher in Auckland

  • OECD data on the Auckland market suggests speculators are having a major effect. (NZIER)
  • Westpac says Labour’s Capital Gains Tax would reduce the value of a rental property compared to other investments by 23%.

 6.       National says it’s policy aims to increase supply of new housing but more houses were built every year under the last Labour Government    than National were able to build in their first five years in office.

 7.       State housing

  • Labour increased the state housing stock by 9000 when last in government: National have reduced the number of state houses by 1000 in the last 12 months alone.
  • There are 2700 vacant state houses, and the waiting lists are at a record high at 5800.
  • National has used Housing NZ as a cash cow in the middle of the housing crisis: making a net withdrawal of $212 m (2009-2013) and are budgeting to withdraw another $252 m over the next 3 years.

 8.       The Government denies there is a housing crisis.

  • The OECD says we have the 2nd most unaffordable housing in the western world.
  • The IMF says house price to income ratios are 30% out of step with historic averages and house price to rent ratios 80%.
  • The Reserve Bank says the overheated housing market is a threat to macro-economic stability.


[1] Auckland Council, Press Release, 19 August 2014,

[1] Quotable Value, Monthly Residential Value Index,

[1] NZIER, 18 July 2014, The home affordability challenge - NZIER Public Discussion Paper 2014/4,

[1] Christchurch City Council, Code Compliance Certificates Issued & CERA, Land Use Recovery Plan,

[1] MoBIE, Mean rents by TA,   & Quotable Value, Monthly Residential Value Index,

[1] MoBIE, Housing Pressures in Christchurch,

[1] Hon. Nick Smith, Parliamentary Written Question No. 6644 (2014),

[1] REINZ, Residental Press Release, 12 August 2014, & QV, Press Release, 8 April 2014, & RBNZ, Mortgage Rates,

[1] Statistics New Zealand, Consumer Price Index & Quotable Value, Monthly Residential Value Index,

[1] Nick Smith, Press Release, 10 May 2013,

[1] Auckland Housing Accord,

[1] Manukau Courier, 12 August 2014,

[1] MoBIE & Auckland Council, Auckland Housing Accord Monitoring Report #2,

[1] NZIER economist Shamubeel Eaqub stated “If we wanted to be colourful we would call it speculation. That's really what we're talking about when we talk about house prices in Auckland - it's not about fundamental supply and demand”, NZ Herald, 20 May 2014,

[1] Westpac, Economic Overview, May 2014,

[1] Statistics New Zealand, Building Consents Issued

[1] Parliamentary Written Questions

[1] Hon Nick Smith, Parliamentary Written Question No 5619 (2014), & MSD, Social Housing Wait List,

[1] Housing New Zealand, Annual Reports & Statement of Intent

[1] OECD, Economic Outlook, Volume 2014/1

[1] IMF, Global Housing Watch,